Zine & HEARD

Zine & HEARD is a zine that is dedicated to amplifying the voices of youth in care through their stories, art and music.  

It is a fiercely independent monthly zine that is published in Edmonton but is for youth in care from anywhere in the world. 

Launched in January of 2023, in print and online, it has amplified the voices of over 60 former youth from care ranging in age from 18 to 63 with more to come in every issue. 

If you would like to share your thoughts in Zine & HEARD, please email editor@zieandheard.ca or message us on Instagram @zine_and_heard. You can also find us on FB at penny.frazier.75.

Please visit our website at zineandheard.ca to find out more about who we are, what we do and what we say. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

Sincerely,

Penny Frazier

Treaty 6 Territory

WoodGreen Rent Smart

On behalf of WoodGreen Community Services, we are excited to announce that we will be offering a winter session of Rent Smart starting in late February, 2024, co-facilitated by Will McCarty from our own Youth Housing Navigation and Subsidy Support Program, Stella Rose and Karen Hawes from our Financial Empowerment team and Karly Wilson, a housing lawyer and collaborator from the Don Valley Legal Community Services.

There are 6 modules in all, covered over the course of three sessions on topics designed to help young people identify and sustain housing in Toronto and the GTA. They are as follows:

1. Identifying and securing housing

2. What to look for in your search and how to view and inspect a unit

3. How to assess affordability

4. Considering types of housing (individual vs joint tenancies)

5. Types of agreements (standard leases vs subletting arrangements)

6. Landlord engagement – tips and tricks

7. Effective communication

8. Credit reports

9. Human rights and discrimination

10. The Residential Tenancies Act (RTA)

11. Rights, responsibilities and expectations under the RTA

12. Making a budget and filing taxes

13. What financial benefits are there to help?

14. Evictions and the Landlord Tenant Board

Please note that these sessions are open to all, regardless of age or background, but with a focus on youth aged 16-30 years old.

Those who complete all three sessions will receive a certification demonstrating their provincial tenancy knowledge. While participants are more than welcome to attend single sessions, all three must be completed in order to receive their certificate.

Please find the Information for These Sessions Below:

Time: Session Dates: Locations Details:

6:00PM – 8:00PM Wednesday February 21st Part 1 815 Danforth Ave – 1st floor

6:00PM – 8:00PM Wednesday February 28th Part 2 815 Danforth Ave – 1st floor

6:00PM – 8:00PM Wednesday March 6th Part 3 815 Danforth Ave – 1st floor

Attached you will find our flyer. If you have any questions regarding this training, please feel free to use the contact information on the flyer and we will respond as soon as possible.

Kind regards,

Erik

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada’s 2024-25 Scholarship Application is Now Open, Apply Today!

Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada post-secondary scholarships award young people $5000 for each academic year until they finish their program (to a maximum of 7 years from their program start) through a once yearly competitive application. The deadline to apply is Wednesday, January 24th, 2024.

If you are starting or continuing in full time studies in the 2024-25 academic year, and aren’t already receiving a Foundation Scholarship ($5000 a year)*, apply here for the Children’s Aid Foundation of Canada Scholarship today!

Visit our website for the link to the online application form, full eligibility information and answers to the most asked questions, or contact the Foundation’s PSE team at grants@cafdn.org .

Scholarship applications are open to youth with both financial need and the potential to succeed in their program of study. To be eligible, a student must be:

  • Be attending a post-secondary institution full-time or on a reduced schedule due to an academic accommodation, for a full school year starting in September 2024 or January 2025
  • Have been or will be in the temporary or permanent care of the Ministry or Department responsible for child protection services up until your age of majority birthday or had been in permanent care of the Ministry or Department responsible for child protection services for at least 12 months
  • Are under the age of 30
  • Are over the age of 30 and have not received a CAFC Scholarship or Bursary before

If you have any questions about the application form, process, or eligibility, we can help!  

Email grants@cafdn.org with your questions and visit our website for more information and the application link.

3 of the Best Free Virtual Skill-Building Resources

Want to further your interests or skills using virtual skill-building resources? If you like to learn and keep your brain active, we’ve got you covered! For those subjects you love or that topic you want to learn more about, virtual resources can help you.  

Check out these 3 free virtual skill-building resources: 

Codecademy – Use Codecademy to learn computer science, coding, and web development. You can take lessons in HTML/CSS, Python 2, JavaScript, Java, and more. The free and interactive lessons Codecademy offers you the opportunity to explore courses on skills you might be interested in pursuing further.  

You will need to create an account with an email address and password to take courses and browse the website.  

TED – Visit TED, a non-profit organization that aims to make great ideas accessible and create conversation. These ideas are primarily in the form of short talks, under 18 minutes. This is a great resource to expand your knowledge of current events, hear advice from professionals, and listen to inspiring stories.  

You do not need to create an account to access content on the site, however there are options for a paid membership.  

Khan Academy – Khan Academy offers free world-class education for everyone through a set of virtual tools. This organization produces short lessons in math, biology, history, economics, grammar, and more, in the form of practice problems, articles, and videos. 

There are different levels of education with many topics in each. You can create an account or browse courses without one.  

I have been taking the first year university course on world history, which is easy to follow. I enjoy watching the video lessons the most, so I recommend trying one if you find a subject that you’re interested in. 

Apply for Education or Employment Help Through HSBC Youth Opportunity Fund 

The HSBC Youth Opportunity Fund is available to youth who were in permanent care in Canada or who are (or were) eligible for their provincial or territorial extended care program. You can receive funding for a wide range of supports that can help you accomplish educational or career related goals.  

HSBC Youth Opportunity Fund could help cover: 

  • Tutoring services  
  • Academic bridging programs 
  • Application fees for graduate programs 
  • And more! 

Eligibility requirements: 

  • Youth who were or are in permanent care in Canada 
  • Youth who were or are eligible for their provincial or territorial extended care program (e.g. Agreements with Young Adults, Continued Care and Support for Youth, Support & Financial Assistance Agreement) 

Learn about the HSBC National Transformation Project by watching the video below: 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=edJ_D70kKh8

If you are interested in learning more, visit HSBC National Transformation Project or contact Jasmine Yiweza at jyiweza@cafdn.org. 

Access Services for Education, Employment, and More through Futures Forward

If you’re a youth in or from care in Manitoba, check out Futures Forward | Support for Current and Former Youth in Care for services in your area. 

The Futures Forward program provides services to youth who are in or have aged out of Child and Family Services (CFS) system in Manitoba as they transition into adulthood. Services include mentoring, education, workshops, skill development, and referrals. Appointments are available in-person or virtually. 

Check out their website here for more information. 

4 Things to Remember When You’re Learning to be a Better Listener  

If you’re anything like me, you have a hard time active listening. Sometimes there’s too much going on near by, I’m distracted by a notification on my phone or computer, or I’m following their words slower than I should be. I try to focus on that person as best I can, but often it’s difficult to hold a whole conversation feeling this way. Following these tips below, I am better able to focus and be present in a conversation and take the time my brain needs to catch up.  

Remember these four tips so you can become a better listener: 

Listen, Listen, Listen 

When you’re listening to someone, try your best to be present. If you struggle with this, do not be afraid to ask the person to step further away from a crowd if that lessens distractions, or ask them to repeat themselves. Try to be mindful when you can, so if you’re on the phone, try to only be on the phone without multitasking if you have a hard time following along. It’s okay if you don’t always have something to say, sometimes being present and listening is what the other person needs.  

Body Language 

Try to be mindful of how you best communicate. Are you better in person? Seeing someone’s face? If body language helps you pay attention, try to use video chats or in-person conversations as your go to. Sometimes we can also make interesting faces or motions during conversations so you may want to make sure you are aware of your own body language.  

Take Time to Think 

Whether you’re talking on the phone, in-person, or online, try to pause before you speak. Take as long as you need if you’re still trying to process any information. This can help your brain catch up and gives you more time to come up with a thoughtful question or comment. This is also a great time to ask them to repeat something if you’re missing any information.  

Know Who You’re Talking to 

Depending on who you are communicating with, you may use different short forms or abbreviations. It’s important to be conscious about who you’re talking to so you can speak in the most appropriate way. You may use more formal language with your boss, but use “lol” and “that slaps” with your friends.  

How to Enjoy Spending Time Outside Alone

Now that the weather is getting warmer, I see families at the park and people walking their dogs a lot. It makes me wonder if I would go outside more if I had a dog… Though I have a cat I’m sure I could put a leash on, I should probably come up with other ways to encourage being outside. 

I have been exploring activities to do outside that feel engaging to me. I know a walk is the easiest way to spend time outside and get exercise, but sometimes walking is boring or unfulfilling. I have found several different activities to do outside that can be engaging and fun. 

Here are five activities that helped me enjoy spending time outside: 

Journal in a Park 

If you enjoy writing or doodling, this is a great activity to keep you outside and engaged. I love doodling while listening to a podcast or music, or writing some wacky stories for fun. 

Watch the Sunset or Sunrise 

If it helps to go outside with something to do like buying groceries or running errands, try to find something to look forward to. If you want to see the sunset, try going outside just with enough time to go somewhere comfortable (like a park or a backyard) and experience that sunset or sunrise. 

Hike on a Trail 

If there are walking or biking paths near you, it can be fun to try changing up your environment for a walk. Sometimes you can find trails that feel like they’re not in the city. If you bring bird seeds with you, you might be able to feed some birds or chipmunks along the way! 

Have a Picnic 

Prepare or pick up something for a snack or lunch, bring a blanket or beach towel, and head to a nice park for a picnic. I like to cut up meat and cheese to pair with crackers and mustard. I like to bring a book, but I always end up listening to a podcast anyway. 

Paint in the Park 

One of my favourite activities to do right now is paint, so what better way to spend time outside than painting? A dollar store should have a mini canvas and a small paint kit, which you can easily pack in a purse, tote, or backpack and bring to a cool location. Last time I painted outside, I went to a park on the waterfront. 

Make a Mindfulness Box with Me!

A mindfulness box is a box, or anything you want to put stuff in, that includes items to help soothe you, calm you, or help you be mindful. I have been interested in making one since my therapist suggested I try making one last month. I love learning about new things I can try at home to practice mindfulness, so learning about the mindfulness box was so helpful! 

If you’re interested in making a mindfulness box, follow along as I share what I put in mine: 

Choose Your Box 

Pick what you want your mindfulness items to go in. This could be a portable cosmetics bag, a old shoe or amazon box, or a basket. I chose an old shoe box. Once you find something to put all your mindfulness items in, you’re ready to start! 

Self-Care Items 

I added a bottle of lotion, a foot mask, nail file, and a jade roller. These are some of the self-care items that soothe me the most. 

Stress Ball 

I of course had to add a stress ball because as much as I might feel silly squeezing a happy emoji face, it makes me feel grounded and regulated. I also like slime, silly putty, and colourful clay. 

Photos of Friends 


I added photos of my friends and my cat. I also included old doodles from notebooks that I thought were cool. This reminds me that I have people who care about me and who I care a lot about. 

Notebook and Pen 

I added both a notebook and sketchbook with pencils and pens. Sometimes I like to doodle or write words over and over which provides a distraction from worrying about little things. 

I hope talking through my mindfulness box helped spark some ideas about what you could put in yours! 

3 Apps that Will Help You Manage Your Stress

We struggle with stress every day, whether small stresses or big, it’s important for us to know how to manage our stress. Unfortunately, that can be really difficult to learn. 

What I found helped me learn how to manage my stress better was taking small steps. Instead of fully committing to a bunch of skills, I tried one. After trying boxed breathing a few times and seeing how it helped ground me, it became a habit. After weeks of not remembering to box breathe when I was stressed and failing to do it early enough to avoid further stress, I found myself immediately trying it without even thinking about it. It became a habit and I finally got the hang of it. 

If you are thinking about trying out some mindfulness exercises, cognitive behavioral therapy skills, or other stress management skills, I recommend trying one of these free apps: 

Calm 

Download on the App Store or Google Play 

With really cool backgrounds and a range of meditations, Calm (calm.com) is a space to escape and relax in the comfort of your hands. This app is designed to keep you calm and it’s quite successful at it. 

Headspace 

Download on the App Store or Google Play 

Headspace (headspace.com) is a comprehensive meditation app, with guided and unguided meditations to help you through all phases of your life. The free app offers ten sessions, with hundreds of hours of extra content if you love it and want to subscribe. 

Happify 

Download on the App Store or Google Play 

Happify (happify.com) is all about positive psychology, mindfulness, and cognitive behavioral therapy. As the name suggests, Happify’s goal is to help us all feel happier, and more emotionally fulfilled. This is a great tool to keep in mind if you find yourself overwhelmed often and are struggling to feel emotional fulfilment.